Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in southeastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. It covers the City and County of Philadelphia as well as Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties. The diocese was erected by Pope Pius VII on April 8, 1808, from territories of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Originally the diocese included all of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and seven counties and parts of three counties in New Jersey. The diocese was raised to the dignity of a metropolitan archdiocese on February 12, 1875. The seat of the archbishop is the Cathedral-Basilica of Ss. Peter & Paul.
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul
Coat of arms
|Territory||Philadelphia City and County, counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery, Pennsylvania|
|Ecclesiastical province||Metropolitan Province of Philadelphia|
|Area||2,183 sq mi (5,650 km2)|
|(as of 2013)|
|Established||April 8, 1808|
|Cathedral||Cathedral-Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul|
|Patron saint||Peter and Paul the Apostles|
|Archbishop||Charles J. Chaput|
|Auxiliary Bishops||John J. McIntyre|
Michael J. Fitzgerald
Timothy C. Senior
Edward Michael Deliman
|Bishops emeritus||Justin Rigali|
Robert P. Maginnis
It is also the Metropolitan See of the Ecclesiastical Province of Philadelphia, which includes the suffragan episcopal sees of Allentown, Altoona-Johnstown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Scranton. The territory of the province is coextensive with the state of Pennsylvania.
History of the archdiocese
The history of the Catholic Church in the area dates back to William Penn and when Mass was said publicly as early as 1707. On April 8, 1808, the suffragan dioceses of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Bardstown (moved to Louisville in 1841) were erected by Pope Pius VII from the territory of the Diocese of Baltimore, which was simultaneously raised to the rank of metropolitan archdiocese. Michael Egan was appointed as the first bishop and was consecrated as a bishop on October 28, 1810, by Archbishop John Carroll.
In 1868, the dioceses of Harrisburg, Scranton, and Wilmington were erected from the territory of the diocese (the Wilmington diocese also received parts of Maryland and Virginia). Philadelphia was raised to a metropolitan archiepiscopal see on February 12, 1875, with Harrisburg and Scranton among its suffragan dioceses. On January 28, 1961, the five northern counties of Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton, and Schuylkill were split off from the archdiocese, to create the Diocese of Allentown.
Beginning in 2005, members of the diocese and its hierarchy have been heavily impacted by sexual abuse scandals. Two grand jury reports, guilty pleas and convictions indicate administrative mishandling of cases and other issues.
In February 2012, the diocese announced the largest reorganization of their elementary and high school education system, with numerous recommended school closings and/or mergers.
In a Thursday, August 23, 2012 online news story article about the Archdiocese's schools by Lou Baldwin of Catholic News Service (CNS), it was announced that the Faith in the Future Foundation would assume management of the seventeen archdiocesan high schools and the four special education schools.
Bishops of Philadelphia
- Michael Francis Egan, O.F.M. (1808–1814)
- Henry Conwell (1819-1841)
- Francis Patrick Kenrick (1842–1851), appointed Archbishop of Baltimore
- Saint John Nepomucene Neumann, C.Ss.R. (1852–1860)
(Ambrose Maréchal, P.S.S. was appointed in 1816; did not take effect.)
Archbishops of Philadelphia
- James Frederick Wood (1860–1883), raised to Archbishop in 1875
- Patrick John Ryan (1884–1911)
- Edmond Francis Prendergast (1911–1918)
- Cardinal Dennis Joseph Dougherty (1918–1951)
- Cardinal John Francis O'Hara, C.S.C. (1951–1960)
- Cardinal John Joseph Krol (1961–1988)
- Cardinal Anthony Joseph Bevilacqua (1988–2003)
- Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali (2003–2011)
- Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. (2011–present)
- John Joseph McCort (1912–1920), appointed Coadjutor Bishop and later Bishop of Altoona
- Michael Joseph Crane (1921–1928)
- Gerald Patrick O'Hara (1929–1935), appointed Bishop of Savannah and later Apostolic Nuncio and Titular Archbishop
- Hugh L. Lamb (1935–1951), appointed Bishop of Greensburg
- J. Carroll McCormick (1947–1960), appointed Bishop of Scranton
- Joseph Mark McShea (1952–1961), appointed Bishop of Allentown
- Cletus Joseph Benjamin (1960–1961)
- Francis James Furey (1960–1963), appointed Coadjutor Archbishop and later Archbishop of San Antonio
- Gerald Vincent McDevitt (1962–1980)
- John Joseph Graham (1963–1988)
- Thomas Jerome Welsh (1970–1974), appointed Bishop of Arlington and later Bishop of Allentown
- Martin Nicholas Lohmuller (1970–1994)
- Edward Thomas Hughes (1976–1986), appointed Bishop of Metuchen
- Francis B. Schulte (1981–1985), appointed Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston and later Archbishop of New Orleans
- Louis A. DeSimone (1981–1997)
- Edward Peter Cullen (1994–1997), appointed Bishop of Allentown
- Joseph Francis Martino (1996–2003), appointed Bishop of Scranton
- Robert P. Maginnis (1996–2010)
- Michael Francis Burbidge (2002–2006), appointed Bishop of Raleigh and later Bishop of Arlington
- Joseph R. Cistone (2004–2009), appointed Bishop of Saginaw
- Joseph P. McFadden (2004–2010), appointed Bishop of Harrisburg
- Daniel E. Thomas (2006–2014), appointed Bishop of Toledo
- Timothy C. Senior (2009–present)
- John J. McIntyre (2010–present)
- Michael J. Fitzgerald (2010–present)
- Edward Michael Deliman (2016–present)
Other priests in the archdiocese who became bishops
- Note: Years in parentheses indicate the time of service as a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, prior to appointment to the episcopacy. Living members of this list are shown first, followed by those who are deceased.
The parish structure
The archdiocese is sub-divided into 12 Regional Deaneries, each administered by a Regional Dean. Present Deans and their Deaneries are as follows:
Parishes of Philadelphia
Circa 1912 there were about 68,000 students in Catholic schools within the archdiocesan territory. This increased to 250,000 in 1961, but the figures decreased after that year. Enrollment was down to 68,000 in 2012. There were about 50,000 students in Catholic schools in the city of Philadelphia in 2000, and this figure decreased to 30,000 in 2010. In that span one Catholic high school and 23 Catholic elementary schools closed or merged, and the proliferation of charter schools in that period meant that the number of students combined in that type of school outnumbered that of the remaining Philadelphia Catholic schools.
In 2012 the archdiocese proposed closing or merging 18 schools in Philadelphia and 31 schools outside of Philadelphia; the Philadelphia Inquirer stated this would further weaken Philadelphia's middle class. The proposal would affect 24% and 29% of the senior high and K-8 schools, respectively.
The first Catholic school established in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was at St. Mary Parish in Philadelphia during the late eighteenth century. During the nineteenth century, Bishop Kenrick encouraged the establishment of Catholic schools. Subsequently, St. John Neumann (1851–1860) made the establishment of parish elementary schools a priority and by 1860 there were seventeen parish elementary schools in Philadelphia. Between 1900 and 1930, Catholic elementary schools increased to 124 schools in Philadelphia and 78 schools in the four suburban counties. Between 1945 and 1965, 62 new Catholic elementary schools were established.
In 2012, about 25% of the students in Philadelphia Catholic elementary schools were not Catholic. In 2010 South Philadelphia Catholic elementary schools had 2,572 students, a decline by 27% from the 2006 figure.
Special Needs schools
With the foundation of Archbishop Ryan School for Children with Deafness in 1912, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia school system began serving families of children with special needs. St. Katherine Day School and Our Lady of Confidence School, serving students with mental retardation, were opened in 1953 and 1954 respectively, after parent petitions to John Cardinal O'Hara. St. Lucy Day School for Children with Visual Impairment followed in 1955. Queen of the Universe Day Center was added in 1980 to serve students with mental retardation in Bucks County. These five schools are supported by the Catholic Charities Appeal.
High schools within the archdiocese
Diocesan high schools
Leadership within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia envisioned a continued comprehensive education for secondary students.
The first free Catholic high school in the United States was the "Roman Catholic High School of Philadelphia", founded for the education of boys in 1890. (It is often referred to as "Roman Catholic", occasionally as "Catholic High", and most commonly as "Roman".) The "Catholic Girls High School" was founded in 1912. Mary McMichan, one of the school's founders, requested in her last will that the school be renamed in honor of her brother. The school became "John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School" after her death. Both schools are still in existence.
Between 1916 and 1927 West Catholic Boys and Girls and Northeast Catholic were opened. Despite the economic hardships of the 1930s and 1940s, seven more diocesan high schools were founded. During a 22-year growth period from 1945 to 1967, fifteen high schools were opened.
Philadelphia high schools
- Archbishop Ryan High School, established 1966
- Father Judge High School, established 1954; administered by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales
- John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School, established 1911
- Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls, established 1939
- Roman Catholic High School, established 1890
- St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls, established 1941
- Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School, established 2004 (merger of Saint John Neumann HS and Saint Maria Goretti HS)
- West Catholic Preparatory High School, established 1916, erected 1926. (West Catholic High School for Boys merged into West Philadelphia Catholic Girls'High School building in 1989.)
Bucks County high schools
Chester County high schools
- Bishop Shanahan High School, established 1957
Delaware County high schools
Montgomery County high schools
Former Philadelphia Archdiocese Parochial High Schools
- Archbishop Kennedy High School (Conshohocken), 1966-1993 (merged with Bishop Kenrick High School in 1993)
- Bishop Conwell High School (merged with Bishop Egan High School in 1993)
- Bishop Egan High School (merged with Bishop Conwell High School in 1993)
- Bishop Kenrick High School (Norristown), 1955-1993 (merged with Archbishop Kennedy High School in 1993)
- Cardinal Dougherty High School, 1956-2010
- Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School, 1993-2010 (resulted from merger of Archbishop Kennedy High School and Bishop Kenrick High School) (replaced by Pope John Paul II High School)
- Northeast Catholic High School, 1926-2010
- Notre Dame Catholic Girls High School (Moylan), 1935-1981
- St. James High School for Boys (Chester), 1940-1993
- St. John the Baptist High School, 1921-1956
- Saint John Neumann High School, 1934-2004 (merged with Saint Maria Goretti High School in 2004)
- Saint Maria Goretti High School, 1955-2004 (merged with Saint John Neumann High School in 2004)
- St. Matthew High School (Conshohocken), 1866-1966
- St. Patrick High School (Norristown), 1875-1955
- Saint Pius X High School, 1953-2010 (replaced by Pope John Paul II High School)
- St. Thomas More High School, 1936-1975
- West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys, 1916-1989 (merged with West Philadelphia Catholic Girls High School; demolished in 2009)
- West Philadelphia Catholic Girls High School, 1927-1989 (merged with West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys)
Private high schools
Though not funded or operated by the archdiocese, the following independent schools operate "with the blessing and spiritual support of the archdiocese:"
- Academy of Notre Dame de Namur, Villanova
- Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Bryn Mawr
- Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, Philadelphia
- Devon Preparatory School, Devon
- Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School, Gwynedd Valley
- Holy Ghost Preparatory School, Bensalem
- La Salle College High School, Wyndmoor
- Malvern Preparatory School, Malvern
- Mercy Vocational High School, Philadelphia
- Merion Mercy Academy, Merion
- Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Flourtown
- Nazareth Academy High School, Philadelphia
- Saint Basil Academy, Jenkintown
- Saint Joseph's Preparatory School, Philadelphia
- Villa Joseph Marie High School, Holland
- Villa Maria Academy, Malvern
Colleges and universities within the archdiocese
- Note: Each Roman Catholic college and university within the archdiocese is affiliated with a religious institute, rather than the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
- Cabrini College, Radnor Township (Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus)
- Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia (Sisters of Saint Joseph)
- Gwynedd-Mercy College, Lower Gwynedd Township (Sisters of Mercy)
- Holy Family University, Philadelphia (Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth)
- Immaculata University, East Whiteland Township (Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary)
- La Salle University, Philadelphia (Christian Brothers)
- Neumann University, Aston Township (Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia)
- Rosemont College, Lower Merion Township (Society of the Holy Child Jesus)
- Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia (Jesuits)
- Villanova University, Radnor Township (Augustinians)
The sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania, U.S., is a significant episode in the series of Catholic sex abuse cases in the United States, Ireland and elsewhere. The Philadelphia abuses were substantially revealed through a grand jury investigation in 2005. In early 2011, a new grand jury reported extensive new charges of abusive priests active in the archdiocese. In 2012, a guilty plea by priest Edward Avery and the related trial and conviction of Monsignor William Lynn and mistrial on charges against Rev. James J. Brennan followed from the grand jury's investigations. In 2013, Rev. Charles Engelhardt and teacher Bernard Shero were tried, convicted and sentenced to prison. Lynn was the first official to be convicted in the United States of covering up abuses by other priests in his charge and other senior church officials have been extensively criticized for their management of the issue in the archdiocese.
In 2015, it was reported that the school's long-serving director of religious education, Margie Winters, had been fired from the Waldron Mercy Academy after a parent had reported her directly to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for marrying her long-term lesbian partner in a civil ceremony in 2007. Winters had been upfront with school administrators at the time of her hiring and was advised to keep a low profile which she says she did. Many parents expressed anger and concern over the school's decision. Principal Nell Stetser justified the decision by arguing that "many of us accept life choices that contradict current Church teachings, but to continue as a Catholic school, Waldron Mercy must comply with those teachings." But she called urgently for "an open and honest discussion about this and other divisive issues at the intersection of our society and our Church." The Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput, however, has not yet responded to such a call and instead spoke out in favour of her firing, simply calling the dismissal "common sense.".
The Catholic Standard & Times (newspaper)
Saints of Philadelphia
- St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, for whom the suburban college is named and who visited on numerous occasions. She started an orphanage and an Italian national parish that still is functioning today, St. Donato's in West Philadelphia.
- St. Katharine Drexel
- St. John Nepomucene Neumann – A Redemptorist; became the fourth Bishop of Philadelphia (1852–60) and the first U.S. bishop to be canonized; as bishop of Philadelphia, he founded the first Catholic diocesan school system in the U.S.
Shrines of Philadelphia
- Catholic Church and politics in the United States
- Catholic Church by country
- Catholic Church in the United States
- Connelly Foundation
- Ecclesiastical Province of Philadelphia
- Global organisation of the Catholic Church
- History of Roman Catholicism in the United States
- List of Roman Catholic archdioceses (by country and continent)
- List of Roman Catholic dioceses (alphabetical) (including archdioceses)
- List of Roman Catholic dioceses (structured view) (including archdioceses)
- List of the Catholic cathedrals of the United States
- List of the Catholic dioceses of the United States
- Philadelphia Nativist Riots
- Plenary Councils of Baltimore
- Polish Cathedral style
- LT Robert R. Brett, S.M., Chaplain, USN – Chaplain killed during Vietnam War.
- Roman Catholicism in the United States
- A Brief History of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Archived 2009-08-02 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- See: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore#History.
- "Bishop Michael Francis Egan, O.F.M." Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
- "Archbishop John Carroll". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved March 11, 2010.
- "CNS STORY: Philadelphia Archdiocese, foundation sign pact on school management". Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- See: List of the Catholic bishops of the United States#American bishops serving outside the United States.
- Times-Dispatch, ELLEN ROBERTSON Richmond. "The Most Rev. Francis X. DiLorenzo, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, dies at 75". Richmond Times-Dispatch.
- Campisi, Anthony (2012-01-09). "Catholic school closings hit South Philadelphia especially hard". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
- Tierney, Joseph P. (2012-01-30). "Catholic School Closings Need More Than A Miracle". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
- "School closings continue assault on city's middle class". Philadelphia Inquirer. 2012-01-17. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
- O'Reilly, David. "Schools panel head: Catholic school changes long overdue". Philadelphia Inquirerdate=2012-01-09. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
- "Pope John Paul II High School: Our History". Retrieved December 9, 2011.
- Gary Puleo (June 11, 2010). "Final bell for Kennedy-Kenrick Catholic High School". King of Prussia Courier. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
- "World News Inc.: West Catholic High School". World News. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "Gay Priest Fired From Chaplain Job Asks Pope To Meet LGBT Catholics In U.S". Huffington Post. July 20, 2015.
- See Miraculous Medal and Miraculous Medal Shrine and Art Museum webpage. Central Association of the Miraculous Medal website. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- See St. Rita of Cascia and National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia official website. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia Official Site
- Office of Catholic Education
Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Philadelphia". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.